On 9 April 2017 at 14:33, R A Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > On 09/04/2017 12:18, And Rosta wrote: > >> On 9 Apr 2017 08:24, "R A Brown" wrote: >> >>> >>> The regular vocative singular was _Dee_ which was used by >>> Tertullian and Prudentius. But pronouncing this as two >>> syllables (both Es being short) correctly in normal speech >>> is clearly awkward. >>> >>> It was IMO fairly 'natural' for the anonymous >>> translators of the Old latin versions to use _deus_ rather >>> than the phonetically awkward _dee_. >>> >> >> >> I am away from my copy of Vox Latina, so let me ask more about this >> awkwardness. Any awkwardness surely can't have been literally purely >> phonetic. >> > > It's awkward in English, isn't it? I can't think of any words where /ɛ.ɛ/ > occur in contiguous syllables. That's because /ɛ/, the DRESS vowel, is checked -- must be followed by a consonantal coda. In English, /ɛ.ɛ/ is impossible on phonological grounds. [ɛ:] is not phonetically difficult (e.g. it happens to be how most English people of my generation and younger pronounce _air_). Despite the existence of an IPA syllabicity marker, it would take a lot to persuade me that syllabicity is a phonetic rather than phonological property. > But if they do they surely will not retain separate pronunciations in > allegro speech. Agreed. > > > Assuming that contiguous heterosyllabic (what's the evidence for >> the heterosyllabicity?) identical nonhigh vowels were phonologically >> licit, >> perhaps the problem was the combination of their rarity and the >> marginality >> of their phonetic contrast with other long monophthongs? >> > > Fairly marginal and clearly contracted in normal speech to a single vowel, > cf. cohors ~ cors. It's clear from the Romance languages that the > contracted short vowel was the norm in speech, e.g. cover [verb] <-- Old > French _covrir_ (Modern _couvrir_) <-- Vulgar Latin *coperīre ( = Classical > cooperīre). > > Or maybe they were >> phonologically licit in earlier Latin but became illicit along with other >> reorganizations to the vowel system? -- >> > > They were marginal and simplified in spoken Latin. Turtullian and > Prudentius may have used the "correct" _Dee_ in writing. But had this form > caught on it would surely have been pronounced just as /dɛ/. The evidence > is clear that Latin speaking Jews and, later, Latin speaking Christians > felt happier with _Deus_ /'dɛʊs/ > > So let's ask why it became /'dɛʊs/. The phonetic difficulty would have been the difficulty of having a monosyllabic--disyllabic contrast in a phonetic monophthong. So given that the phonologically expected vocative would have been /dɛ/ rather than /dɛ.ɛ/, the vocative would have ended up as a bare stem. How many vocatives consist of just a bare stem, and how many vocatives share the form of the nominative? Given that an /ɛ/ suffix was no longer a phonologically licit option, what was the morphologically least irregular vocative? --And.